Mike Mother | Neo-Futurarium | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Mike Hamilton and Jessica Anne

Mike Hamilton and Jessica Anne

Joe Mazza

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through June 4 2016
Price: $10-$20, pay what you can on Thursdays
If what Jessica Anne describes in the course of her 84-minute performance piece is true, she was subjected to hellish psychological torture as a teen, administered by someone she should've been able to trust. That we're not sure it's true is a function of her complex narrative strategy. On one level she's playing with the anti-illusionist precepts of the Neo-Futurarium, where she was an ensemble member for six years. On another, she's messing with us the way she was messed with (but to an infinitely milder degree), setting us off balance with a careful seeding of doubt. On top of all that, she marries her tale to a genuine theatrical fiction—Marsha Norman's 'Night, Mother—which she by turns respects, inverts, and subverts. Interestingly, Mike Mother falls flat only when Jessica Anne and fellow performer Mike Hamilton attempt conventional sincerity. The rest of the time, it's funny, cunning, witty, literally splashy, and exhilarating in its reckless reverence for the truth. —Tony Adler



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